Friday, September 7, 2012

New Strange Species of Stick Insect

This new species of stick insect was discovered in the Philippines and is different from usual stick insects in that it has a thicker body, shorter legs, is wingless, and is found on the ground, when stick insects are usually found in trees.

The males are also brightly colored, whereas stick insects generally tend to be duller colors to camouflage with their environment.  But that might be due to the fact that it emits a "foul-smelling spray to deter predators"(BBC)  from a gland on the back of its head.

The scientific name it has been given is: Conlephasma enigma

Scientists have also given it its own genus because of how unique it is and are still determining how it relates to other stick and leaf insects.   "One feature, however, has been seen before.  The microstructures of Conlephasma enigma's mouthparts are strikingly similar to those held by another group of stick insects. The problem is that these stick insects live in tropical America, on the other side of the world, raising the question of how two insects so far apart might share a similar trait." (BBC)

Original Article
BBC article
Smithsonian Blog


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